Updated: Jul 25
The High Atlas Foundation has been conducting participatory planning meetings with local communities in Boujdour province for most of the past year, where people’s voices are heard and action plans are created for priority projects. As part of the participatory process, public-private partnerships are forged toward providing support for the community initiatives.
HAF is pleased to announce new local partners in the Boujdour. The provincial partners are: the Delegations of Youth and Sports and Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the High Commission of Waters and Forests. HAF has signed direct partnerships with four schools. These partnerships will support community projects in drinking water, green business development with youth and single-unwed mothers and in school tree planting and environmental stewardship.
HAF facilitators held participatory meetings in the fishing communities of Assifat and Elkaa, with nomadic communities within the Jrifia commune, and in Boujdour City, which has a population of over 61,000 people. Rural and urban priorities showed some overlap. Communities identified three top priorities:
1.Clean drinking water and irrigation
2.School Infrastructure and activities, paved roads (also in rural areas), mosques, and public bathrooms in Boujdour City
Community meetings in Boujdour City income generation to alleviate the challenges of underemployment among youth. Infrastructure needs came from rural and urban meetings. On 16 January 2014, HAF celebrated the planting of its one millionth tree in Morocco. On that day, HAF planted more than 10,000 trees at 43 projects sites in 8 Moroccan provinces. Communities in Boujdour participated in tree planting at four elementary schools and one educational center – 240 trees were planted (olive, citrus, apple, and pomegranate). The new provincial partnerships enhance HAF’s relationships with communities to enable local people to address opportunities through sustainable development and viable solutions.
On 23 February 2014, HAF held a planning meeting with divorced and widowed women to identify issues of concern and to begin developing plans for a women’s cooperative. With HAF staff, the women identified and discussed potential cooperative projects, including sewing, carpet making, baking, and ranching before voting unanimously that a fish packaging plant holds the most promise for the community. The women, who have for so long struggled to provide for their most basic needs, are devoted to working long hours to making this factory a success.
HAF is committed to communities creating a future that is transformative. This is because what HAF does is people-driven with highly productive private-public partnerships at different levels. We therefore believe, based on our experience and results, that HAF and its partners are building in Boujdour and in nine other provinces of Morocco a global model for investment in human development.